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I have made up the examples below.

(1) I said to my customer, "You ordered fifteen packages of toilet paper. I'm going to get them for you right now." (After one minute) I said to him, "Here are ten. There are five more to come. I'm going to get the rest. I'll be right back."

(2) I said to my customer, "You ordered fifteen packages of toilet paper. I'm going to get them for you right now." (After one minute) I said to him, "Here are ten. There are five more coming. I'm going to get the rest. I'll be right back."

Which form of "come" is correct? Thanks.

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    They are similar, but I would interpret "coming" with a greater sense of happening immediately. Nov 11, 2023 at 2:52
  • However in this case you did say "I'll be right back", which pretty much makes them both identical. Nov 11, 2023 at 2:53
  • Assuming that the customer can do simple arithmetic, all you need to say is "Here are ten - I'm just going to fetch the other five". Nov 11, 2023 at 9:04

1 Answer 1

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Both forms are correct and natural in that context, and have the same function, so there's no meaningful difference between the two choices in the situation you've created.

But they do have different meanings.

If something is "to come", it means it is expected in the future. It does not necessarily mean it's on it's way now. It also carries no special nuance. It's just a statement about the future.

If something is "coming", it means it is on its way right now. It also carries the nuance that some action is required, especially getting prepared for the event.

So your first version roughly means, "These ten packages aren't the whole thing; there are five more to be brought here". Your second version means, "Five more packages are on their way here now".

Since the context makes it clear that the packages are coming now because you said you were going to get them immediately, none of the differences between the two matter.

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